I just started a Facebook group that allows all artist with original ideas and artwork to join the group in the effort to stop others from copyright infringement. If this sounds like something you are interested in, please join the group!! There is a badge to it at the bottom of my blog! Please invite your artist friends as its for all artists!
As the quote goes..."Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery" that's until you ask an artist with any sort of talent. In the few years I have been in the sculpting world, I have seen many rip offs, knock offs and outright theft of other sculptors work.(actually JUST saw a horrible theft of a few caricature artists on Facebook too) I have seen some very original items too. Sadly it seems not very many people can come up with their own stuff...even right on down to reputable artists ripping off each other. It's pure craziness. I have an original idea or two but wow...even being a no-name for now :) I'm scared to death to put them into an actual working idea.
And then there comes the debate on doing tutorials. Hmmm...it seems many people seem like to think if an artist puts out a tutorial on a certain sculpture/piece...that means all of their work is up for grabs and anyone can do them. This saddens me. I am one of the lucky ones that learned how to sculpt by going to free forums and watching free tutorials. I couldn't believe the amount of people that were willing to teach others...just to teach. And now look at what's happening to them. They are getting ripped off for all their efforts. It also really makes me not want to do any sort of teaching in the future.
I suppose no matter where you end up in life, you always will have to deal with one of "them". Such is life. But what to do with these people?? And at what point do we stop if calling them out on their work? There are many people that are influenced by our Art Gods/Idols. And when sculpting...I think a time or two it comes across as copying even though you are just practicing or didn't mean for it to, it was just coincidence. I am influenced by many people...and I am sure there will be a time or two when that might show...but if it's not copying..then...it should be okay, right?? But who's to say that someone else doesn't think that I did copy and blows the whistle on me? So where to draw the line? And is it a good idea to blow the whistle on others?? I'm sure that collectors can spy it too, especially if they are hardcore collectors but everyone is free to buy what they want. And where do we draw the line on what's acceptable to copy and what isn't?? I've seen many sculptures that are Disney characters. Or comic book characters...so on and so forth. Why is that acceptable and not someone copying our art. Is it because you are doing a rendition of your own on something that's been well known for a long time...or because we can fly under the radar of major corporations?? I'm not judging...simply wondering where the thoughts are on this. I hear Disney doesn't mess around when it comes to copyright issues. I don't think I'll go there...thank you. :) Being cautious isn't a bad thing. Being original is a very good thing!!
So in the end, I will try my ideas and hope they sell well and hope I don't have to deal with any of these problems like all the big wigs in the business have to. I can see where it would make anyone jaded, for sure.